AceShowbiz - The former President of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Producers Guild of America believes exiled filmmaker Roman Polanski had no intention of raping a teenager at a Hollywood party over 40 years ago.
Howard 'Hawk' Koch, who worked with Polanski on film classics "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby", believes the director was "a genius" and Hollywood was robbed of more great films after Roman fled the U.S. before he was sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl at a party.
He still keeps in touch with Polanski, who has been on the run in Europe since the late 1970s, and he believes it might be time to drop the case, especially as his victim has forgiven him and pleaded with lawmakers to stop chasing the past.
"He's (Polanski) an amazing guy and an amazing raconteur; he's got a wife, he's got kids," Koch says of his friend. "In the '70s a lot of people did things maybe that they're not proud of. There was a lot of drugs around and he probably did something that he shouldn't have done, which he admitted and he went to prison."
"And when he came out the deal with the judge was that he would serve the rest of his time on probation, but the judge did not uphold that deal and if Roman didn't leave, this judge was gonna put him away for a long, long time, so he had no recourse, so he left."
"I feel bad because Roman should have made a lot more movies than he did make. But the woman forgave him... I don't believe that Roman was the kind of person who just pushed his way (around). He knows what it's like to be an outcast; he had to hide from the Nazis. He knows what it's like to be scared out of his mind and I don't think he'd do something deliberately to scare somebody else, except in a movie like Repulsion or Chinatown."
Koch has also opened up about the ongoing #MeToo movement, launched to right and highlight sexual abuse wrongs in Hollywood, insisting he's a fan - but he doesn't believe all the allegations.
"I am someone who believes in the #MeToo movement and I believe there are really some horrible men, but there are also some women, because I've seen it, who want to get ahead, so I don't know that I believe everybody who comes out with a story," he shares.
"I know personally that I never pushed my way with any woman but there might be a woman out there who will say, 'Oh yes you did Hawk!' But I was never that kind of person."